If you own your own business, you know that overhead costs have a way of creeping up on you. A little bit here, a little bit there, and before you know it, your profits are down, your expenses are up, and you can’t quite put your finger on why.
Big businesses have the same problem, but of course, you notice them more acutely in a smaller firm. Smaller boats are more easily swamped. It just doesn’t take as much to capsize them. That’s not a dig against small business, that’s just the lay of the land.
The good news though, is that small, incremental changes to a small company can create visible impacts to your bottom line. You can very quickly see improvements to your bottom line. Here are some ideas to get you started:
VOIP is actually cheaper than using landlines, and they usually offer a flat rate for long distance calling. You can save as much as 20% on your phone bill by making this one simple change.
2)Hire an Accountant
This is one of those times where the saying “it takes money to make money” is certainly borne out. Hiring an accountant will add to your overhead, yes, but if you don’t currently have one, such an expert will almost certainly pay for himself. The savings that an accountant can unearth for you are astonishing.
If your lease is soon to be up, give serious consideration to relocating. The real estate market is recovering, yes, but there are still deals to be found. Explore them and save yourself a bundle.
4) Put One Person in Charge of Office Supplies
Rather than having everyone order their own supplies, order in bulk, and centralize that function through a single point of contact. Ordering in bulk saves in two ways. First, you’ll get a better deal by ordering the larger quantities of everything your office needs, and second, you won’t get eaten alive in separate shipping charges, which is where you’ll notice the biggest savings.
5) Go Green!
This could technically be broken into three separate tips, which would give us a total of ten, but I’ve lumped them all together, because they are part of a cohesive strategy. 1) Two things to consider at the same time here. First, compact florescent bulbs. Office wide, this simple replacement alone can save some 15% on your electric bills. Second, get a “Kill-a-Watt” or another smart appliance that monitors electrical uses. This can easily save another 15% for a modest one time investment, and third, invest in energy efficient appliances as your old ones become fully depreciated. Get a tax advantage and long term savings.
6) Install a “Smart” Thermostat
A little more expensive up front than the options above, but will also save you 20-30% on your energy bill. All these taken together can literally cut your energy usage in half!
7) Refill Printer Cartridges (Rather Than Buying New)
Ink is more expensive by far, than the printer itself. Never buy new. Always go the route of refilling. Much cheaper.
8) Paperless Office (Digitize Everything)
Building on the above, digitize everything you can, so that you minimize printing. These two taken together can cut your ink costs by as much as 75%.
There are always things you can do to reduce overhead costs. This list is by no means exhaustive, but should be enough to get you started and help you take steps towards improving your bottom line!